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Online learning: a scoping of the literature for a study in integrated palliative care

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineMeeting abstractpeer-review

<mark>Journal publication date</mark>06/2014
<mark>Journal</mark>Palliative Medicine
Issue number6
Number of pages2
Pages (from-to)831-832
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English
Event8th World Research Congress of the European Association for Palliative Care - Lleida, Spain
Duration: 5/06/20147/06/2014


Conference8th World Research Congress of the European Association for Palliative Care


A study of patient-centered integrated palliative care pathways in advanced cancer and chronic disease, InSup-C (EC FP7 funded) plans to develop online learning modules to disseminate and promote best practice in this field across Europe.

To identify the key components of effective online learning models in higher and professional development education with particular reference to palliative and end of life care contexts.

A search was conducted for papers that reported peer reviewed studies using MEDLINE, ERIC, CINAHL, AMED, PsycINFO and Academic Search Complete databases. The main subject term: online learning, was used in combination with evaluat*, research, palliative, and end of life as free text terms. This yielded 1441 results. Further filtering and removing duplicates reduced this to 1084 of which 26 papers were selected for narrative review. Of these, four studies evaluated purely online (un-moderated, asynchronous) learning inputs, 10 were reviews or meta-analyses, and 12 considered online components of blended learning courses.

Evidence for the effectiveness of un-moderated learning was equivocal and where part of a blended approach, confounded by other factors such as tutor input or peer interaction. Reported positive effects included improved access for remote learners and those with resource constraints, and increased flexibility for those studying alongside work commitments.

Published results of evaluative research into purely un-moderated, online educative tools were relatively few. There is a need for better research into the efficacy of these approaches given that there is evidence of their increasing use in palliative and end of life care education. In designing new material for its project, InSup-C will incorporate robust evaluative techniques at the module design stage.